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Alex Richardson Award 10th Anniversary

On Saturday 13 April third-year Management & Spanish student, Alice Bugeja, became the tenth winner of the Alex Richardson Award, receiving the award alongside two runners-up – Charlotte Barlow and Harriet Allan. First awarded in 2010, the award commemorates former student Alex Richardson, who tragically died during his third year studying French & Spanish at the University of St Andrews.

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Alex pictured in 2008

The award allows students to travel and engage with a Spanish-speaking culture through undertaking exciting personal projects. Some of the projects so far have included: volunteering in Costa Rica and Peru; gender empowerment projects in Venezuela; documentary film making in Mexico and an ethnographic study of the world’s most crowded island – Santa Cruz del Islote – off the coast of Columbia.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of Alex’s death and, as they do every year, his family and friends gathered in St Andrews to remember Alex in a touching ceremony and to award the prize. Development intern Charlotte Jiggins went along to the ceremony to catch up with this year’s recipients to find out a bit more about their exciting travel plans and what the Alex Richardson Award means to them.

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From left to right: Charlotte, Harriet and Alice; Alex’s parents Chris and Annie Richardson, Alex’s sister Emma and her husband, Al

All of the previous recipients have used the award to embark upon projects that encompass Alex’s spirit of adventure and Alice is no exception: ‘My project is Ten 10ks in Ten Spanish cities, so basically running to explore and experience the culture of Spain and see everything a city has to see. For me, when I go somewhere new, running is one of the best ways to experience the place.’

Speaking about the award ceremony and the day itself Alice said: ‘It was just so nice to get to know [the family] and [they] were really welcoming. It just feels like you’re part of something quite special and I really look forward to that again next year, coming back and seeing them and the next winner.’

Alice recently came to the end of her travels, and you can read all about her adventure and see some of her amazing photos on her blog: https://running-for-alex.webnode.com/blog/

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Alice after one of her 10k runs

Runner-up and second-year International Relations and Spanish student, Harriet Allan plans to undertake a six-week human rights internship in Peru. When speaking about the award she said:

‘I’m honoured that I was chosen. It’s such a terrible thing to lead to such a nice gift, not just to one but three people. Getting to meet the whole family was so nice and to know that they’re interested in supporting all of our trips and journeys is so kind and lovely’

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Harriet receiving her award from Alex’s cousin

Charlotte Barlow, who is a third-year Geology student, plans to use the award to conduct research for her Geology dissertation in Spain.

‘I didn’t actually know that these kinds of funds were available to students…when it comes to stuff like dissertation projects, you apply to organisations like the Geological Society or big firms. To have something quite local and to have it in St Andrews and it be related to a former St Andrews student is something quite unique and quite special’

‘It is a really exciting prospect to embark on a self-motivated independent research project and for the outcome to hopefully reflect a successful and productive field excursion.’

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Charlotte pictured second from the left, talking with Alex’s family

The Alex Richardson Award is a truly incredible award which not only honours a much-loved former student, but also brings out the best of the St Andrews community. It affords students a unique opportunity for personal development and enables them to explore the Spanish-speaking corners of the world.

If you would like more information on the award and the stories behind it, or are interested in applying next year, see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8DtLZPtnqo
https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/modlangs/spanishdepartment/prizes/

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